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Posted by Tori Thompson on March 12, 2021

Among all of the big decisions you’ll make in your home-buying journey, choosing the right lender is the key. Why is this important? First, your lender will be offering you your home loan, so that you have the funds to purchase your new home. Second, you’ll want to make sure that you’re comfortable with your lender and have evaluated all your loan options before making a commitment. Thirdly, there are so many different loan programs and different loan terms, with many different variations out there — more than you think. Finally, and most importantly, you will want to shop around and find that one lender that’s 100% right for you.

Make sure that you the first conversation with your lender is about discussing your short and long-term goals. Talk to them about why you want to buy a house. Who will be living in it? Will there be kids (now or in the future)? Talk about how you want to spend each month, keep in mind the specific number that you want your monthly payment to be. For many, the monthly payment is more important than your purchase price. Discuss how long you plan to be in your new home, as some loans have prepayment penalties. Make sure your lender gets to know you well; the more your lender knows about you, the better assistance and advice they can give you.

Chances are you’re not going around talking about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on the regular — ask your lender to go over mortgage loan basics, as there is a lot to digest (even if you’ve done this before). Build a strong foundational knowledge, so you better understand the bigger complexities of borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Ask your lender these key questions will help ensure that they know you and your situation or goals. Undoubtedly, feel free to use this list to guide you but, just don’t limit yourself to these questions. Think about your specific situation and share anything pertinent in your financial background.

The Basics:


  • What is the difference between FHA / VA / USDA / conventional loan types?
  • What is Freddie Mac / Fannie Mae / Ginnie Mae? How can these organizations help me achieve my goal?
  • What are the pros and cons of fixed-rate loans / adjustable-rate loans / interest-only loans / negative amortization loans?
  • What’s an interest rate?
  • What exactly is an annual percentage rate?
  • What is private mortgage insurance?


The Borrower Specifics:


  • What is the best loan option considering my down payment potential?
  • What is the total amount I should expect to pay at closing, including taxes and closing costs?
  • Specifically, how and when can I lock in my interest rate?
  • What appraisal requirements will
  • associated with my loan option?
  • Will I incur a prepayment penalty with any of my loan considerations?


The Lender Specifics:


  • What are your loan origination fees (“lender fees”)?
  • Will this loan approved and processed in-house?
  • Do you guarantee on-time closings?
  • Are you available evenings and weekends should I need to get in touch?
  • Will your company sell my loan after closing?


Pro tip! Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Lenders can be known to match interest rates and lender incentives, including closing cost credits!


Bonus! Get in touch with the lender before your first meeting, so you can provide them with all of the financial documents necessary to determine your eligibility. Most importantly, the extra work on the front end will ease your stress in the long run. Trust me. If you’d like a list of recommended lenders, give me a call or book a discovery call with me today. These key questions to ask your lender will help to get your keys!

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